Transforming Indian IT Services Companies – Innovation Co-Crafting

Ten years it took to bring them to a grinding halt or reduce to snail pace compared to where they were at the turn of the previous century. Complacency is what has taken its toll on Indian IT services companies. The big successful IT companies have changed their top management and now even started acquiring smaller companies. But these are reactive and short-term measures. Why we fall short of Strategic Innovation? We continue to be slightly more than weakest and just survive. Our companies, just like Indian political leadership and bureaucracy, focus on being slightly more than weakest, to survive the world. May be we read evolution code correctly as elimination of the weakest instead of survival of the fittest. Indian IT companies are not able to create strategic innovation as they continue to react rather than design/invent the future. They need to understand how in the increasingly connected world, the globalizing world, competitive advantage is changing.

This article is in response to readers comments in previous articles What Ails Indian IT Companies A View from Software Innovation Triangle and The Ladoo Game and Indian IT Companies

Competitive Advantage in a Globalizing world

Every company searches for competitive advantage to score ahead. We have seen the evolution of competitive advantage as the world has globalized through multi-dimensional impact of technology and openness. From how much land and natural resources you have to see how much you can manufacture/produce, the world has moved to how much information and how fast you decide as the key ingredients of competitive advantage. As globalization increased in last two decades the mantra has been how fast you innovate. It is evident now that new competitive advantage is not on how fast YOU innovate, but how fast you Co-Create with all the minds that you can gather with you. The competitive advantage is co-creation with all the minds. We call it Innovation Co-crafting. The companies need to transform its employees and itself into innovation co-crafters.

Indian IT Comptetive Advantages over the years

Who is an Innovation Co-crafter?

    An Innovation Co-Crafter is a Simpleton, Scientist and Saint – who starts along with people in a system (experienced domain experts) to reach to the SOUL of the system. He starts every time as a simpleton – then he becomes a scientist and finally achieves sainthood – reaching and delivering a wisdom of the system to effect change that is needed – making the system as close to Ideal as is possible. In this journey – he creates systemic change along with people in the system.

    Every time the co-crafter starts as a simpleton who has multiple lenses to view reality and many times creates new lenses to look at reality – during these adventures in wonderland he behaves like a scientist experimenting, exploring, understanding through the steps of SOUL – See, Observe, Understand and Live – after the simpleton has reached to the SOUL of the system, he starts the change process needed – a change that impacts all around him. Slowly the wisdom gleaned from this becomes the new change that the system needed and experts start developing their expertise in the new change!

    A co-crafter is a simpleton who becomes a scientist and then achieves sainthood by working with a system and the people in the system to make the system as close to an ideal system as is possible – He has to be humble, has to accept that he doesnt know and actually need to reach the SOUL of the system by learning to See, Observe, Understand and Live (SOUL) the system. Achieving Sainthood from being a simpleton every time is a learning process!

    A co-crafter takes the organization that he works with to the Simplicity on the other side of complexity – one has to go through complexity. This side of simplicity will keep us simpletons – I hope you can connect with being Simpleton as this side of complexity – being a Saint is on other side of complexity and exploring complexity is being a scientist!

    The co-crafter takes the system through a journey of simplicity from this side of complexity to the other side of complexity, breaking and many times shattering the mountains of complexity!

Learning is the Key

    Complex Learning Happens in an environment of High Challenge Low Threat through Immersion in multiple authentic experiences and then active processing of these experiences to glean meaning The Innovation co-crafter focuses on the above three for all creative learners

    What is needed is an approach that is less control more creation, less management more on-its-own, less of post-facto data analysis, more of empiricism and experimentation – less of hierarchies more of networks, less of pyramidal thinking more of all-inclusive thinking. We have to wake up to the fact that world is self-organizing!

Inventing an Innovation Co-Crafting Nation

Indian IT companies need to transform thousands of its employees into innovation co-crafters. This transformation is the need and it will not be easy to do so. This requires an understanding of moving from elimination of weakest to thriving of the co-crafter not survival of the fittest. However, it is do-able and we need strategic vision in creating this strategic innovation to transform ourselves into innovation co-crafting nation.

Navneet Bhushan (Navneet) is a founder director of CRAFITTI CONSULTING (www.crafitti.com) an Innovation and Intellectual Property Consulting firm focused on co-crafting Innovation in global enterprises. He is the winner of Indira India Innovation award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Leadership for 2012. He is the principal author of Strategic Decision Making- Applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process published by Springer-Verlag, UK, as part of the Decision Engineering Series. Read Navneet Bhushan Profile. Read Navneet Bhushan Columns.

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